by Benjamin Whitmer
Like every other reader, probably, I tie my love for reading to my childhood. Mine was spent on back-to-the-land communes with my mother, where we raised crops, butchered our own meat, and logged firewood. It was a tough living – you ain’t experienced winter until you’ve spent one in upstate New York using an outhouse – but it was one that gave wide berth to the imagination. I was allowed more freedom to explore than most anybody I know, and we always had books around. Once I got started reading, it was two books a week, a trend that I never lost. It seems like I spent a good half of my childhood walking in the woods, talking back to a book.